When Philly Boxing was at its best but could only produce three world champions! Boxing News 24

Through Ken Hissner: In the ’60s and’ 70s, Philly boxing was at its best when IBHOF promoter J Russell Peltz of Peltz Boxing had the Philly welterweights, light middleweights and middleweights fight for the biggest. fun for Philly fans.

Names like George “The Mayor of North Philadelphia” Benton, “Bad” Bennie Briscoe, Robert “Bam Bam” Hines, “Gypsy” Joe Harris, Willie “The Worm” Monroe, Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts, Eugene “Cyclone” Hart , Dick Turner, Stanley “Kitten” Hayward, Jimmy Sykes, Percy Manning, James “Black Gold” Shuler, Frank “The Animal” Fletcher, Curtis Parker, Jesse “Crazy Horse” Smith, Jim “Slim” Robinson, Charley Scott, Tony “Rocky” Tassone, Perry Lil ‘Abney and Artie “Moose” McCloud, Jimmy Beecham, all fighters from Philly who clashed.

The only problem was that he only produced two world champions, one being Joey Giardello, with only two world title fights but losing that being “Bad” Bennie Briscoe and Stanley “Kitten” Hayward.

Giardello was originally from New York, turning pro in 1951 and first fighting in Philadelphia in 1958. In 1960, he had a contested draw with NBA world champion Gene Fullmer.

Then he returned to Philly in 1961, scoring two wins, one over Jesse Smith. In 1962, in Ring Magazine’s Fight of the Year, “in a bloodbath of a fight, he reversed a loss to Henry Hank at Convention Hall. In his next battle, he defeats Jimmy Beecham and loses to Benton.

In 1963, Giardello won back-to-back fights, the second against former “Sugar” world champion Ray Robinson, at Convention Hall, winning a world title fight with WBC and WBA world champion Dick Tiger whom he won. defeated.

In 1964 he defended and defeated Rubin “Hurricane” Carter and in 1965 he lost his title in a rematch with Tiger. He ended his career in 1967 by reversing the loss of a previous fight against Jack Rodgers at the Philadelphia Arena.

The other world champion was Robert “Bam Bam” Hines, who held the IBF Light Middleweight title for just three months. He beat Matthew Hilton, 29-0, in Las Vegas, NV, in November 1988 and losing in February 1989 to Darrin Van Horn, 39-0, in Atlantic City, NJ.

Peltz promoted Briscoe, whom he sent to Argentina in May 1967 to fight Carlos Monzon, 40-3, who was not yet the world middleweight champion and only in his next fight, winning the South American title. .

The fight ended in a draw, and if an outside fighter gets a draw in another fighter’s country, a draw is a win and Briscoe was entitled to the win. There are more raffles in Argentina than in any other country.

Briscoe couldn’t get revenge for a title fight with WBC and WBA world champion Monzon until November 1972 in Argentina, more than five years since their first fight.

The only reason Monzon gave him the rematch, in this writer’s opinion, is because Briscoe had hepatitis and only had one fight after he recovered, with the people of Monzon feeling that Briscoe would not be. not at its best. Monzon won an unbalanced decision. In 1974 he was stopped for the only time in his career by Rodrigo Valdes, in Monte-Carlo, for the vacant WBC World title.

Hayward, who lost to Freddie Little for the vacant WBC and WBA Light Middleweight title, lost a lopsided decision in Las Vegas, NV, in March 1969. Hayward was promoted by Lou Lucchese out of Reading. , PA, Leesport area.

Benton then defeated Philly fighter Joey Giardello in August 1962 at Philly’s Convention Hall. Giardello didn’t want any part of a rematch with Benton.

I can still see Benton being ushered into the ring during one of Giardello’s fights and walking towards him, acting like he’s putting money in his trunks as a bribe to fight him. Benton was forced to have an elimination match with Rubin “Hurricane” Carter to secure a match with world champion Giardello. He lost to Carter by split decision in May 1963 at Madison Square Garden.

Benton scored victories against Philly fighters Jim “Slim” Robinson (later coach of Mike Rossman) and Jesse “Crazy Horse” Smith while losing to Briscoe in December 1966 at the Philadelphia Arena.

Briscoe, on the other hand, against the Philly Fighters in 1964, stopped Charley Scott, then defeated Manning in his next fight to lose to him in a rematch three fights later in 1965. That same year, he lost to Hayward.

In 1966, he beats Benton, in 1967 beats Ike White, in 1969 beats Manning in their third fight. In 1975 he beat Hayward and in the same year drew Hart and knocked him out in 1976 in a rematch. In 1982, in his last fight, he lost to Jimmy Sykes at the famous Philly’s Blue Horizon.

Two other Philly fighters, Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts and Willie “The Worm” Monroe, both defeated “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler in Philly before Hagler became world champion. Watts’ win was controversial, but I witnessed Monroe’s win over Hagler with new coach Benton in the Monroe corner.

In 1974, Monroe defeated Hart, stopped Hayward and lost to Watts. In 1976, he defeated Hagler. During a weigh-in, I spoke with Monroe, who had a cast on his hand telling me he was giving Hagler revenge in Boston, and told him it wasn’t a good idea. Benton had changed his running style for their first meeting to stand in front of him, which hadn’t prepared Hagler for it. In the rematch, he knew what to expect and stopped Monroe in Boston and again in Philly before winning the title. In 1979, he lost to Curtis Parker.

Parker will beat fellow Philly Kid Samson fighters Jerome Goodman and Frank “The Animal” Fletcher. Fletcher lost to fighters Philly Artie “Moose” McCloud (Monroe’s uncle), stop Jerome Jackson, Caveman Lee and Ernie Singletary. Then defeat Sykes and in his final fight Parker stops him. Sykes would be stopped by Mike Robinson, stop Tony “Rocky” Tassone, beat Briscoe and lose to Fletcher.

Getting back to Watts, he arrested Perry “Lil ‘Abner” Abney, arrested Hart, and defeated Monroe. Manning beat Sidney “Sweet Pea” Adams, got arrested by Dick Turner, Hayward and Briscoe. Then defeats Briscoe in their next fight while also ending his career being stopped by Briscoe.

Turner of Philly was in this writer’s first live fight in Philadelphia, losing to Hayward in what I thought was a controversial decision. He then stopped Al Styles and Manning by losing his last fight to Hayward. He retired with a retinal detachment.

Perhaps the most flamboyant of all was Harris, who twice beat Johnny Knight, Hayward, then in 1967 went to Madison Square Garden and in an untitled fight defeated welterweight champion Curtis Cokes. He would later travel to Dallas, Texas for a title fight, but he won’t find any Coke there and in a local newspaper showing him “fishing!” Harris got disgusted, then moved on to middleweight. He would end his career by suffering his only loss to Emile Griffith in an untitled fight.

Harris’ career came to an end when it was discovered in what was to be his next fight that he was blind in one eye. This writer tried to get his license back, knowing that he fought his entire career like this, memorizing the eye cards.

His war at the gym at 23rd PAL in Philly with Briscoe was so brutal that gym manager Duke Dugent had to jump into the ring and stop him after a minute, saying to both of them, “Never again! ” Through Dugent, we tried unsuccessfully to reclaim Harris’s license, referencing other great one-eyed boxers like Harry Greb and Marvin Hart.

At the end of their careers their records were Benton, 61-13-1 (36), Giardello, 98-26-8 (31), Briscoe, 66-24-5 (53), Monroe, 40-10-1 (26), Watts, 39-7-1 (22), Hines, 25-3-1 (17), Hayward, 32-12-4 (18), Hart, 30-9-1 (28), Parker, 29 years -9-1 (21), Turner, 19-2-1 (11), Manning, 17-7-1 (11), Harris, 24-1 (9), Shuler, 22-1 (16), Sykes, 13-11-1 (9), McCloud, 11-5 (8), Tassone, 17-7-2 (6), Robinson, 21-9-1 (15), Abney, 24-13-1 ( 20), Smith, 46-12-5 (33), Beecham, 41-31-3 (12), Scott, 35-32 (20) and Fletcher, 18-6-1 (12).

Peltz said this about some of the Philly fighters:

Harris: A one-eyed genius who couldn’t beat the streets. Monroe: Always unsure of his own abilities and never of the main guy in the team. Hayward: He would’ve been the star in the age of social media, plus he could really fight.

Stag: Best left hook I’ve ever seen in person, and that includes Joe Frazier.

Watts: The best of the Watts-Hart-Monroe trio due to his boxing intelligence, but his body may have been too fragile to fit in the trenches.

Curved on: He loved to fight out of pocket and to be a defensive genius that he often forgot the purpose of the fight while winning.

Briscoe: He came to injure you, body or head, and the thought that the only battle he ever lost was when Rodrigo Valdes stopped in 1974 in Monte Carlo.

Turner: I’ve only seen it once – a loss to Jose Stable – but another talent’s career was cut short due to retinal detachment.

Fletcher: A relentless force and the most exciting fighter of the early 1980s who made the most of his limitless talent, but he couldn’t avoid trouble on the streets.

Giardello: Underrated champion who fought all the tough black fighters of his time. A returning fighter.

Workforce: Correct technician but fragile and thrown to the wolves by the management.

Scott: Another exhausted Philly left hooker whose opponents schedule was chosen by the Marquis de Sade.

Shuler: Defeated James Kinchen but died far too young. The loss of Hearns could have been an anomaly, but we’ll never know.

Hines: Beautiful to watch with his repertoire of punches on the inside, and the same can’t be said of too many lefties.

Parker: Terrific action fighter who should have been handled better. Too many brutal fights in a row for his bruise style.